In recent times there has been increased publicity and promotion of charcoal based products. Many new charcoal toothpastes and powders are now available on the market. In addition, charcoal bristled toothbrushes now exist also.
Amongst some of the beneficial claims that are made, tooth whitening is one of the most common.
A charcoal product, paste, powder or brush at best can remove external staining on the tooth surface, lifting discolouration and revealing the natural tooth colour. They cannot change the natural tooth colour, you require professional tooth bleaching/whitening for this to happen.
If you’re thinking of buying a charcoal-based product, we recommend first checking out our best charcoal toothpaste article. It contains a huge guide on using and choosing charcoal toothpaste.
We’ve also created an article on charcoal toothbrushes.
Colgate are a well known brand globally and I certainly like to think that I can trust them when it comes to my oral health.
Therefore, the addition of charcoal bristled toothbrush to their range is one I am particularly interested in given the current trend that is activated charcoal.
Simply put this manual toothbrush has charcoal infused bristles that are supposed to offer deep, effective cleaning whilst taking advantage of the benefits charcoal brings.
- Contain charcoal
- Soft bristles
- Non-slip rubber grips
- 1 or 3 pack options
- Contain charcoal
- Soft bristles
- Non-slip rubber grips
- 1 or 3 pack options
How much do they cost?
The prices depend on the pack size and the place of purchase.
At the time of writing a pack of 3 costs £2.99 (view on Amazon), that’s £1 per brush.
You can often purchase a single brush too. Prices vary but tend to be more expensive for the 1 pack.
Where can I buy them?
At the time of writing, Colgate’s charcoal toothbrushes have not actually officially launched within the UK, but are imported from other markets, most notably India.
They can be purchased through online retailers and marketplaces who hold stock within the UK or ship to the UK from overseas.
Amazon is a great marketplace to access these, view on Amazon.
Charcoal or more specifically activated charcoal (not the charcoal you put on a BBQ) has become a much talked about ‘natural’ option for cleaning and whitening teeth.
With a growing trend for natural products and less man-made solutions charcoal is one such option.
Generally purchased or used in a toothpaste or powder form, thousands of YouTube videos, beauty blogs and Instagram images have shown how it can clean and whiten teeth better than many other off the shelf products.
Charcoal powder and paste achieve a whitening effect by actually cleaning the teeth more effectively. They clean the teeth well, lifting the stains that dull the natural whiteness of the teeth.
It does not bleach or stain teeth a brighter or whiter colour.
Charcoal itself is a porous substance and using it should be able to absorb bacteria and odours that accrue in the mouth, on the teeth and along the gumline.
The principle of this has been taken and built into a toothbrush by Colgate.
The brush head bristles are dark grey/black in colour, unlike most other brushes where they are white or some bright colours to draw your attention.
These bristles are infused with charcoal, the same stuff that is available in powders or paste form.
By infusing the bristles, the idea is that plaque bacteria will be better removed than with a conventional brush in part because of the bristle design and the properties that charcoal possess.
The brush itself is primarily of plastic construction, which is black in colour. However, a large proportion of the front and back of the brush is then covered with a rubber grip to help hold the brush securely in hand. I certainly did not find it slipping in hand when tested.
The rubber grips vary in colour. The pack of 3 I purchased included a blue, green and orange rubber gripped handle. They can also be purchased as an individual pack.
The price varies depending on where and when you purchase it, but the 3 pack normally represents better value and brings the brush in at a similar price over a conventional manual brush with non-charcoal infused bristles.
Compared to AOLEVA charcoal brushes, which is another charcoal toothbrush that seems to be popular on Amazon, the handle is a little thinner in hand and there is more flex in the neck of the brush. Despite Colgate being the more premium brand, the AOLEVA feel the better quality in my mind.
The bristles on this brush are most certainly soft, but not quite as soft as AOLEVEA. It is my understanding that the brush is only available with soft bristles.
The brush heads are a little larger than you would see on most manual toothbrushes and is certainly larger than heads found on most electric toothbrushes, which I normally use on a daily basis. The head is more or a rounded rectangle shape and not the circular shape of Oral-B electric toothbrush heads for example.
Just like any other toothbrush you should replace it every 3 months to ensure you are not doing damage to your teeth because the bristles do wear over time.
Many other toothbrushes do have indicator or fading bristles that discolour with time, to act as a reminder that it needs replacing. You do not get that with these dark grey/black bristles on this Colgate charcoal brush.
You would have thought that the charcoal infusion of the bristles would look or feel different but aside from the colour they appear no different in my eyes. Try or feel the toothbrush blindfolded and I do not think you would know any different.
Colgate says that the bristles are some 17x thinner and essentially get deeper down into the gum line than ordinary toothbrush bristles meaning that plaque bacteria is more effectively removed.
I used this Colgate brush for a period of 2 weeks to try it out and I was unable in any way to notice or tell that it was doing a better job of cleaning the teeth or the gumline. Maybe it was, and long term maybe there would be a difference, but I think the reality is unless monitoring under scientific conditions you would not know.
I used the brush in conjunction with a regular toothpaste but you could use with activated charcoal too.
After each use, my teeth certainly felt clean, but no better or worse than your average toothpaste and brush combination in my eyes.
Whilst Colgate does not suggest that the brush will offer tooth whitening or better remove odours from the mouth, these are a couple of the benefits that normally come from using charcoal, so it might be fair to suggest that the brush itself could offer similar effects.
The problem is, and I have no science to justify this, is that the concentration of charcoal even in the hundreds of bristles is far too small to have any noticeable difference. I just don’t understand how the infused bristles can have any positive impact on your oral health.
Dare I say this charcoal infused brush is a marketing ploy?!
The bristles are incredibly thin and could well be making a difference but I just can’t see how regular folk like you and me will ever know.
Even if you do notice stain removal, the toothpaste or powder you use with this paste is no doubt going to be having an impact also.
Conclusion, are Colgate Slim Charcoal Toothbrushes any good?
I can’t conclude this review with either an overly positive or overly negative opinion.
I felt the brush worked well, it was a pleasure to use and left my mouth feeling clean after use.
The bristles were a little softer than I personally prefer and the head larger than I am used to on an electric toothbrush.
Aside from the physically obvious long and super thin bristles, I was unable to tell if they were cleaning any better and whether the charcoal was having any effect if compared to a good old manual or electric brush with conventional nylon bristles.
The brush works as part of an oral hygiene routine, but if you want to really enjoy the potential benefits of charcoal then opting for an activated powder or paste is more likely to have positive results.